On Sept. 12, the non-profit Joe and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation awarded service-learning grants totaling $270,000 to 62 area schools, among them 14 Catholic elementary and nine Catholic high schools.
The Brown Foundation supports projects that challenge young people to apply their classroom skills to the design and implementation of service projects targeting a variety of populations, including the homeless, hungry, elderly, poor and those with special needs.
The Sept. 12 award ceremony, held at Kenner’s Pontchartrain Center, featured a service-learning fair at which attending students and teachers could browse the booths of more than 70 non-profits, learn about their service-learning successes and access information on volunteer opportunities.
Brown Foundation grants are available to public, charter, private and parochial schools in a nine-civil parish area.
The following Catholic high schools received Brown grants for 2017-18:
- Academy of Our Lady: Freshman religion class meets the needs of senior residents of Wynhoven Health Care Center; Health Occupations class are junior coaches for the Girls on the Run program for girls in grades 3-8.
- Academy of the Sacred Heart: Ceramics/fine arts students host “Empty Bowl” event benefiting New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness; government and art classes co-host a naturalization ceremony.
- Archbishop Chapelle: Religion classes minister to senior residents of Metairie Health Care Center; the environmental science class restores wetlands through the LSU Coastal Roots program and addresses needs of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.
- Cabrini: Eighth-grade religion class partners with students at St. Michael Special School; junior religion classes prepare bagged lunches and serve them to homeless guests of the Rebuild Center at St. Joseph Church; Science Squad conducts STEM activities at 10 middle schools; senior religion class partners with the Pontifical Mission Societies to teach students about life in other countries via games.
- Jesuit: Seniors teach math, language arts and mentor middle school students during a five-week summer program.
- Mount Carmel Academy: Students lead program for other schools addressing truancy, cyber bullying, smoking, substance use, self-esteem and related topics; students care for companion animals at Animal Rescue of New Orleans; religion classes prepare and serve food to the homeless at the Rebuild center at St. Joseph Church; religion classes paint and repair homes through Habitat for Humanity’s “A Brush with Kindness” program.
- The St. Paul’s School: Sophomore English students work with first graders at Lyon Elementary to write and illustrate biographical books to give to their buddies.
- St. Scholastica Academy: Environmental science class grows vegetables to give to the Northshore Food Bank and grows marsh grasses to plant on Grand Isle.
- Ursuline Academy: Eighth-grade religion classes minister to elderly at PACE; freshmen religion classes share Scripture lessons with students at St. Benedict the Moor; sophomore religion classes share the lives of the saints with students at St. Michael Special School; junior religion classes address hunger and poverty through Second Harvest Food Bank; senior religion classes partner with Common Ground Relief Foundation to protect the wetlands.